ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Call: Your research for meta-analysis on presence

Studies sought for meta-analysis on presence

We are currently gathering candidate studies for a meta-analysis examining the effect of immersive virtual reality technology on self-reported presence. We are investigating the effect of relative high vs. low immersive levels as operationalized across various hardware and software variables.

The studies we are including either manipulate overall levels of immersion (e.g., head-mounted display vs. mental simulation, CAVE environment vs. desktop monitor, etc.) or the levels of a particular immersive system component (e.g., different fields of view, stereoscopic vs. monoscopic visuals, stereo vs. mono audio, different update rates, etc..). A list of most of the studies already gathered can be found here: Read more on Call: Your research for meta-analysis on presence…

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Detroit Auto Show attendees get virtually in the driver’s seat

[From The Detroit News, where the story includes many more images]

Simulator at Detroit Auto Show

Automakers put attendees virtually in the driver’s seat

By Tony Briscoe, The Detroit News
January 21, 2013

Detroit— The North American International Auto Show is letting consumers get a taste of what it’ll be like to be behind the wheel of many new models.

In the middle of the Ford Motor Co. show floor, people can test their racing skills in the virtual simulation of the brand’s sports technology of the Focus. Technicians strap volunteers into an elevated two-seat cockpit controlled by four mechanical legs that allow the drivers to feel every twist and turn as they compete for the best lap time. Read more on Detroit Auto Show attendees get virtually in the driver’s seat…

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Call: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)

International Journal of Technoethics
Call for Submissions (deadline: May 1, 2013)

Editor-in-Chief: Rocci Luppicini, University of Ottawa, Canada
Published: Quarterly

The Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Technoethics (IJT) would like to invite you to submit a manuscript for the next submission deadline: May 1, 2013. The following describes the mission, coverage, and guidelines for submission to IJT.


The mission of the International Journal of Technoethics (IJT) is to evolve technological relationships of humans with a focus on ethical implications for human life, social norms and values, education, work, politics, law, and ecological impact. This journal provides cutting-edge analysis of technological innovations, research, developments policies, theories, and methodologies related to ethical aspects of technology in society. IJT publishes empirical research, theoretical studies, innovative methodologies, practical applications, case studies, and book reviews. IJT encourages submissions from philosophers, researchers, social theorists, ethicists, historians, practitioners, and technologists from all areas of human activity affected by advancing technology. Read more on Call: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)…

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Beyonce lip-synced at the Inauguration, betrayed the world [Updated]

[From Jezebel, where the story includes a link to the performance; see Aretha Franklin’s comments, including “In 2009, I wanted everything to be live and on the real side for the moment as it actually happened,” in The Detroit Free Press]


Beyoncé Lip-Synced at the Inauguration, Betrayed the World [Updated]

Dodai Stewart
Jan 22, 2013

In the most earth-shattering piece of news since that of her own pregnancy, it has been confirmed that Beyoncé — as in, Beyoncé — LIP-SYNCED THE NATIONAL ANTHEM at the Inauguration. Oh my god how could you?

According to Nico Hines, writing for the Times of London:

A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band said it was standard procedure to record a backing track and Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version.

Okay, wait. The music was pre-recorded? Or her vocals were pre-recorded?

Both, reports Sophie Gilbert for the Washingtonian.

To press seated just below the podium, in front of the “President’s Own” Marine Corps Band, it was evident that the band wasn’t actually playing during the song-even though band director Colonel Michael J. Colburn was conducting energetically and the band members mimicked blowing into their instruments.


On January 20, the day before the ceremony, Beyoncé posted pictures to her Instagram account that appeared to show her in a recording studio. In one, she holds a copy of the sheet music to “The Star Spangled Banner” in front of a microphone attached to a recording device, and in another she sits in front of recording equipment while members of the Marine Corps Band stand clutching sheet music behind her.

Many so-called “live” performances are, in fact, not live: Most of the folks at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade lip-sync; Madonna lip-syned through her Super Bowl Halftime performance last year; and Britney Spears was known to lip-sync during her tours. You might be forgiving of an artist who is expected to dance, change clothes and sing live without losing his or her breath; you might argue that considering all of the variables — weather, schedule, band members — it would be best, in front of millions, to play it safe.

But the truth is this: It feels like a lie. When luminaries have gathered together in the flesh for an epic, historic event — the inauguration as the first black President serves a second term and swears on a bible — you expect truth. You want it to be genuine, exacting and pure. Lip-syncing is false. Miming. Pretending. Faking the funk. If your voice wobbles, if you’re off-key, at least it’s a real, true moment. Isn’t that what we deserve? Read more on Beyonce lip-synced at the Inauguration, betrayed the world [Updated]…

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Call: HRI-2013 Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robot Control in HRI


HRI-2013 Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robot Control in HRI


CONFERENCE: 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI-2013)
LOCATION: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Tokyo, Japan

Read more on Call: HRI-2013 Workshop on Probabilistic Approaches for Robot Control in HRI…

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How telepresence tech may change the small business of 2063

[From BBC News, where the story includes additional images]


Viewpoint: The small business of 2063

By Alastair Reynolds Author
3 January 2013

Our world is changing faster than ever and, in recent years, a number of transformative technologies have moved from science fiction and the research and development R&D laboratory into the realm of practical application.

These new technologies, combined with demographic shifts and globalisation, will have a profound impact on the future of SMEs.

Who would have thought that advanced machinery and electronics such as GPS navigation tools, which only a decade ago would have seemed completely science fictional, would now be a part of our everyday lives?

Even the tablet computer, prophetically shown in Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001 A Space Odyssey, was a part of the fictional world.

But now we are more than familiar with the object, seeing it used for both business and entertainment purposes.

It is always hard to predict the impact of technological developments, but we are already witnessing how the way we work could be transformed in the near future. Read more on How telepresence tech may change the small business of 2063…

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Call: INPUTS / OUTPUTS: Causality in Engagement, Immersion, Presence and Related Concepts in Performances and HCI

Conference Call for Papers

INPUTS / OUTPUTS: Inter-disciplinary Approaches to Causality in Engagement, Immersion, Presence and Related Concepts in Performance and Human Computer Interaction 

26 June 2013
Brighton, UK

Deadline for contributions 22nd February 2013

Engagement is much sought after in the public discourse of politics, theatre and education. Immersion, presence, and motivation attract further research to the engagement continuum.  The goal of this symposium is to inspire an interdisciplinary spectrum of academics, practitioners and funders interested in deeper engagement (and related terms) toward novel collaborative solutions and projects. By mixing practitioners and researchers from arts, media and science, the conference will offer a platform for adaptation of discoveries made in other disciplines.

The title “Inputs/Outputs” concerns the interaction between ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’.  Examples of human-centred inputs are computer games, immersive theatre, novels, music, and classroom lessons; examples of outputs are emotions, memories, neural activities, physiological changes, and motivated behaviours.

The rationale for the symposium is to improve the models for understanding the relationship between cause (pre-designed or scripted interventions) and effects (emotions, memories, neural activities) engendered in the audience or end-user.  In interactive experiences, proposing causal relationships is made more difficult as human responses are sometimes conflated with causes. The symposium will focus its inter-disciplinary discourse on teasing apart scripted factors (inputs to the audience) that elicit or cause states like engagement, and on the human, observable effects that result from states like engagement (outputs from the audience).

We welcome submissions on the central questions of the conference:

  • The relationship between physical, emotional, and intellectual engagement
  • Results from assessment and quantification of engagement in different fields
  • Methodologies and modalities for measuring engagement in different fields

Other relevant topics include: rapport, immersion, ‘presence’, hypnotic absorption, neuroscience of engagement, interactional synchrony, engagement during interactivity in HCI, social signal processing, games, and the arts. Read more on Call: INPUTS / OUTPUTS: Causality in Engagement, Immersion, Presence and Related Concepts in Performances and HCI…

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Disney’s DreamPlay AR brings toys and characters to life

[From Reuters, where the story includes an additional image]

Disney joins JAKKS, LA billionaire to bring toys to life

By Ronald Grover
LOS ANGELES | Tue Jan 8, 2013

(Reuters) – Walt Disney toys are sold around the world. Now, children can find them in the cloud as well.

The media giant is teaming up with toy company JAKKS Pacific and Patrick Soon-Shiong, Los Angeles’ wealthiest person, on a new line of toys – with a nifty technological twist designed to link the goodies that kids lug home from the store with Disney’s stable of well-known animated characters.

“DreamPlay”, developed by Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks company, and JAKKS works via an app that can be downloaded on Apple Inc devices like the iPad or smartphones and tablets running Google Inc Android software. When a device’s camera is trained on any toy specifically designed to work with DreamPlay, it triggers one of thousands of preset animations that appear on the device’s screen and seem to be unfolding in the real world.

With viewers’ eyes locked on the tablet or smartphone screen, fairies appear to glide in and out of buildings, animated critters start playing musical instruments, mythical characters prance on a toy piano’s keyboard. Read more on Disney’s DreamPlay AR brings toys and characters to life…

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Call: Physical and Digital in Games and Play seminar

Call for Papers: Physical and Digital in Games and Play seminar
May 29-31, 2013, University of Tampere, FINLAND

Digital games have had a visible role on the contemporary rise of game cultures and game studies, but there are still under-explored research areas in the relation of digital games to other forms of games and play, including e.g. traditional card and board games, play with physical toys, paper-based puzzles, and physical sport games. The research carried out in such areas holds potential for both interesting comparative work in theoretical and empirical game studies, as well as for serving inspiration for experimental design research into hybrid, digital-analogue or augmented game designs.

‘Physical and Digital in Games and Play’ seminar invites presentations from multiple topics related to the unique characteristics of physical play or digital play, as well as to the interplay of these two. The aim of the seminar is to bring together scholars of games and play from diverse fields and to stimulate dialogue between them. Read more on Call: Physical and Digital in Games and Play seminar…

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Penn State pioneers VR to help athletes after concussions

[From Gant Daily]

[Image: Realistic 3-D computer generated environments enable the athlete to feel fully immersed in cyber-imagery]

Penn State Pioneers Virtual Reality to help Athletes after Concussions

January 14, 2013
By Heather Herzog and Joe Weeks, Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State may be the first institution to use virtual reality to protect student athletes from the very real consequences of concussions. University researchers in kinesiology, information technology and sports medicine are using the technology to investigate cognitive changes beyond the limits of typical diagnostic tests.

Sam Slobounov, director of Sport Concussion Research Services, and Elena Slobounov, lead applications programmer in Information Technology Services Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure, have been partnering with Penn State’s Director of Sports Medicine, Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, to design rehabilitative software for athletes at Penn State for more than a decade. One of the crowning achievements of their work is a National Institute of Health funded Virtual Reality (VR) lab in Rec Hall.

The lab is Penn State’s latest, most sophisticated tool to investigate and treat traumatic brain injury in student-athletes. More than 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually, and the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport can be as high as 19 percent per year.

Penn State’s current approach to the growing concussion crisis is to administer baseline tests at the beginning of every season for high injury prone athletes and measure normal cognitive function. Many of these assessments involve virtual reality, and feature realistic 3-D computer generated environments that enable the athlete to feel fully immersed in cyber-imagery. Read more on Penn State pioneers VR to help athletes after concussions…

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